Applying V2X technology to drones: Page 3 of 6

November 10, 2017 //By Derek Tang, NXP
Drones have emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for a unique ecosystem of electronics. Drones need to navigate their environments and as a result will benefit from technologies that help them find their way and avoid danger. Fortunately, this technology already exists in different yet related technology areas. V2X (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication using IEEE802.11p is a technology used to improve traffic safety and efficiency.

[2.2] Benefits to implement video transmission by IEEE802.11p

V2X is based on the IEEE802.11p, which is an amendment of the IEEE802.11 standard for vehicle environment. It supports data rate from 3 Mbps to 27 Mbps which is sufficient for HD video. The licensed band to V2X is 5.9 GHz band in both EU and US. However, many V2X RF chips also support 5.8 GHz ISM band or even cover more bands, such as 2.4 GHz.

The combination of robust V2X technology and unlicensed spectrum (2.4/5.8 GHz) makes it a good candidate for video transmission for drones. Major benefits include:

Long distance – To meet the long-distance requirement, 802.11p chip vendors have set their design target much higher than that of Wi-Fi products. In field tests, the NXP Semiconductor’s Roadlink 802.11p solution was proven to provide stable communication link up to 4km at 5.8 GHz with transmission power meeting CE regulation.

Low latency – The MAC layer of 802.11p was significantly simplified to reduce latency. As a result, the communication adds only a few milliseconds to the end-to-end latency.

Fast reconnection in case of lost signal – The simplified MAC layer enables to build the communication link instantly, which means there is no extra delay in the case of reconnection, if the signal level is recovere

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